Nutrition Degree Information and Handbooks

Prospective Students
As of August 2016, the Department of Nutrition will no longer have a divisional structure.

For doctoral students entering in Fall 2016, as described in the 2016 Student Handbook, programs of study will reflect the previous divisional structure. For doctoral students entering in Fall of 2017, individualized programs of study will be developed through a mentored process and will ensure strong, interdisciplinary training with a focus on critical thinking across the full spectrum of nutrition science, including biochemistry and metabolism, clinical studies, epidemiology, interventions, and policy; plus in-depth training in a chosen area of specialty.

For more details, please see the letter from Dr. Melinda Beck (left). We also encourage you to browse brief descriptions of sample programs of study (left), and to explore faculty profiles to identify faculty members with whom you share common interests.

BSPH Handbook for 2016-2017 (PDF)

BSPH-MS Dual Degree Handbook for 2016-2017 (PDF)

MPH Handbook for 2016-2017 (PDF)
Please see the MPH/RD program website below.

PHD Handbook for 2016-2017 (PDF)
Please see additional PhD information below.

MS Handbook for 2016-2017 (PDF)

Additional information for prospective MPH applicants:

Additional information for prospective MS applicants:

The following faculty members are considering taking students for Fall 2017:

Dr. Kyle Burger
Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis
Dr. Sandra Alberecht 
Dr. Alice Ammerman 
Dr. Susan Smith

Additional information for prospective PhD applicants:

It is very important that we learn of your interest in our program by November 1 in order to be considered in the first wave of admissions. For details about expressing interest please see the Open Letter to Prospective PhD candidates below.

To enhance your UNC experience, the department offers numerous ways for students to finance their education, get involved in volunteer service and other activities and participate in various student organizations.


Check out our Gillings Program Search (GPS) for prospective students. The GPS provides a search option for our School’s degree and non-degree programs, as well as the ability to drill down to an overview of each program’s quick facts and related information about how to apply. Find out more: click link(s) below to view more details about your program(s) of interest. See our School’s tuition and fees page for related information.

Need more information?  Please fill out a Prospective Student Inquiry Form.

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Doctoral Program Show Details

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Residential)

Students develop research and teaching skills in nutrition through coursework, doctoral research, practice opportunities, and preliminary doctoral examinations to prepare them for careers in scientific research or teaching at universities, federal or state agencies, industry or private research institutions. Students may minor in other fields, such as Epidemiology.

Master's Programs Show Details

Master of Public Health (MPH Residential)

Provides graduates with a strong background in: the science and practice of public health; the science of human nutrition and food science; and nutrition programs and services. Classroom experience is augmented by a final block field experiences.

Master of Science with Nutritional Biochemistry Concentration (MS Residential)

Provides students with increased knowledge in nutrition additional skills in laboratory research.

Master of Public Health with Registered Dietitian Training (MPH-RD Residential)

Provides graduates with a strong background in: the science and practice of public health; the science of human nutrition and food science; and nutrition programs and services. Classroom experience is augmented through concurrent and block field experiences. Completion of the MPH w/ RD component prepares a student for the passage of the dietetic registration RD exam.

Undergraduate Program Show Details

Bachelor of Science in Public Health (BSPH Residential)

Combines the study of the biochemical, behavioral, food and nutrition sciences

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Certificate Programs Show Details

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Disparities (CIHD Residential)

Provides training that supports a long-term and sustained public health effort toward addressing and ultimately eliminating public health disparities experienced by African-Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian-Americans, and Pacific Islanders, compared to the U.S. as a whole. Students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Certificate Program will gain a synthesis of knowledge across a variety of disciplines and an expanded depth of the nature and causality of health disparities and be able to translate knowledge into effective action within the U.S. and across the globe. This residential certificate program is available to current degree-seeking residential UNC system affiliate graduate students and professional learners enrolled in the Part-Time Classroom Studies program through the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Graduate Certificate in Global Health (CGH Residential)

The purpose of the Graduate Certificate in Global Health is to provide current graduate students with a comprehensive understanding of global health conditions, needs, and solutions that cross borders in both developing and industrialized countries and regions. The Certificate complements students’ departmental requirements by offering courses and seminars that will prepare them to work in changing environments and with diverse populations, enabling them to respond competently to the challenges inherent to a career in global health.  Students will learn to identify and analyze the factors that generate disparities in health status, health resources, and access to health information and services, particularly for ethnic minorities and other marginalized and vulnerable population groups. In conferring a Global Health Certificate, the School of Public Health acknowledges students’ capability and capacity to perform as public health professionals with a global perspective, with collaborative and cross-cultural sensitivity and skills. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Graduate Certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication (CIHC Residential)

Provides current degree-seeking residential UNC graduate students with specialized training in health communication. Courses are designed to build expertise for applied practice, academic, and research settings. IHC faculty represent 6 disciplines and conduct research on e-health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision-making, dissemination, media effects, usability of electronic medical information, and health marketing. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.

Graduate Certificate in Public Health Informatics (CPHI Residential)

This 12-credit hour specialized educational option prepares graduates for a variety of public health informatician roles. Combining the existing strength of the SPH curriculum and the informatics curriculum at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS), it will offer focused education with emphasis on public health information systems, information management and manipulation as well as evidence-based public health policy. The PHI certificate is envisioned as complementary to a graduate degree from SPH. Residential certificate programs are available to students currently enrolled in a residential graduate degree program at UNC Gillings.